When I moved to Tampa three and a half years ago, I was assigned to my agency’s St. Petersburg office. It was a fairly interesting place to work, and I enjoyed the drive across the causeway (when it wasn’t a 7-mile traffic jam). I was isolated out there (it’s a small office) and entertained myself by blogging fairly regularly, and reading other people’s blogs.
However, the St. Pete office didn’t generate much work, so after a couple of years I reluctantly moved to the Tampa office. Unfortunately, the computers here are configured in such a way that WordPress is barely functional. I can read my feed, but if I want to post something, most of the time I get a nearly blank screen when I click on Create a New Post. And when I’m at home, I’m usually with my wife, so I’m not thinking about WP.
All this to explain why I haven’t been here.
Shortly after my last post, my beloved cat Simon (the one I had just taken to the vet) disappeared. I had to work an evening shift, and when I got home after midnight, he was nowhere to be found. He never wandered; he always hung out in the driveway, waiting for me to pull in so he could run to the back porch and meow until I fed him. I suppose some kind of animal got him; we have eagles and huge owls and even coyotes from time to time, since there is a small patch of jungle behind our yard.
I got as far as I could with siding the house and left to spend a month in Colombia. We had a great time down there; we took a week-long vacation trip to the islands of San Andrés and Providencia, plus a couple of days at the National Coffee Park in Quindío. If I were to do it again I would skip all but Providencia. It is an idyllic place; a small island (you can drive all the way around in 45 minutes in a rental golf cart), small hotels (big chains have been desperate to put in their hotels but the locals are very careful to keep things small and local), spectacular and uncrowded beaches, delicious fresh seafood.
One of these days I’ll post pictures.
Alicia’s son and one of his school buddies came for three weeks in January, and had a great time. I scrounged up what soccer opportunities I could find: Juan Manuel tried out for the Orlando City B team (more than 100 showed up) and for the University of Tampa, and he and Santiago played 5-on-5 at Cinco Soccer a couple of evenings. They ran around Brandon and Valrico on the two bikes I inherited from my dad, worked out at the gym, played with an ancient XBox, and generally enjoyed themselves.
After the boys left, we had a quiet winter/spring. Now Alicia is back in Colombia for a few weeks, and I’m busy painting the house, changing it from faded barn-red to a bright cream-yellow. It is very satisfying to see the changes.
And who knows? I may start blogging again.